It is ok to drone-kill Syrian civilians now

It looks like Obama has declared open season on Syrian civilians, including women and children.

The White House has acknowledged for the first time that strict standards President Obama imposed last year to prevent civilian deaths from U.S. drone strikes will not apply to U.S. military operations in Syria and Iraq.

A White House statement to Yahoo News confirming the looser policy came in response to questions about reports that as many as a dozen civilians, including women and young children, were killed when a Tomahawk missile struck the village of Kafr Daryan in Syria’s Idlib province on the morning of Sept. 23.

The village has been described by Syrian rebel commanders as a reported stronghold of the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front where U.S officials believed members of the so-called Khorasan group were plotting attacks against international aircraft.

But at a briefing for members and staffers of the House Foreign Affairs Committee late last week, Syrian rebel commanders described women and children being hauled from the rubble after an errant cruise missile destroyed a home for displaced civilians. Images of badly injured children also appeared on YouTube, helping to fuel anti-U.S. protests in a number of Syrian villages last week.

So Obama loudly declares strict limits to prevent civilian casualties and then quietly relaxes them when they become inconvenient.

The weekly show Last Week Tonight has clearly found its voice. In addition to its purely comedic elements, it includes an extended segment that has real investigative journalism in it. The fact that the report is interspersed with one-liners, jokes, satire, and irony does not detract from the fact that this is solid reporting. His recent report on drones, where he highlights the shameless abuse of language by the Obama administration, is a good example.


  1. exi5tentialist says

    Killing civilians was always an inevitable part of the US decision to bomb Syria.

    Despite extensive efforts, I have not found a single FTB blogger who has explicitly opposed the US bombing of Syria. Any opposition from FTB has been extremely muted, couched in vague language at best.

    I explicitly opposed the US bombing of Syria as soon as the decision was announced.

    The US killing of civilians is not a surprise. Civilian deaths are treated very casually by the US in middle eastern countries. I put this down to islamophobia and racism.

  2. Holms says

    Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh the majority of people here are against direct intervention, from what I’ve seen.

  3. abear says

    exi5tentialist is against opposing ISIS with force because it is OK for islamist fanatics to murder, rape, and enslave thousands of civilians on purpose but it is morally wrong for westerners to use air power to fight against them because dozens or hundreds may be killed accidentally by the bombing.
    Presumably the Allies should have simply surrendered to the Axis powers during WW2 and then only the bad guys would have been responsible for the death of civilians.

  4. abear says

    The UN has released a report on all the good deeds that IS has been doing in Iraq.
    How dare those racist, islamophobic shitlords dare bomb those poor angels!

  5. exi5tentialist says

    @4 Holms – I’d like to believe it but I’d just like to find some examples of where bloggers at FTB have said they specifically oppose the US bombing of Syria. I, for example, totally oppose the US bombing of Syria and any further action in Iraq or Afghanistan. If you can find me any examples I’d be interested. A number of bloggers here have made occasional disapproving sounds about Obama, or the sexist reporting of the bombing of course, or opposing “US expansion”, whatever that means, but the site is pretty bereft of anti-US bombing comment at all. If I am wrong, provide me with the links to specific opposition to the bombing of Syria. Overall FTB’s bloggers seem pretty compliant.

    Even Mano Singham’s post above is about opposition to a specific type of weapon. In the absence of specific, stated opposition to the US bombing or taking military action at all, it is hard not to conclude that there is a fairly compliant mindset at FTB which is more concerned about the management of the war than opposing the principle of it.

    By and large I think abear’s position is better tolerated in FTB’s comments than opposition to the continuing US war in the middle east.

  6. says

    If any other country were to fly drones over the US and were to kill only military personnel on US military bases, labelling them an “imminent threat” to their nation, the US would still label that country a “terrorist state” or “guilty of declaring war on the US”. And then the US wonders why there’s ever growing resentment and support for anti-US terror groups.

    How did we ever reach the point where the US employs tactics worse than Nazi Germany and Cold War communist states and labels it as “justified”? Then again, considering the history of US foreign policy in many countries, the only change is the weaponry, not the tactics.

  7. abear says

    How did we ever reach the point where self righteous Marxist post-modernists have become so deluded that they would compare the current opposition to the genocide, rape, and slavery currently carried out by islamist fanatics to to Nazi or cold war communist tactics?
    America and its’ power structure is by no means angelic, and certainly they have carried out some criminal acts in the past.
    As bad as they were and still are though are you seriously saying that they are worse than the Nazis that carried out the Holocaust or Pol Pot’s Killing Fields?
    The west is far from perfect, but the truth is that there is far worse out there. How about you check your western privilege, move to the new caliphate that has been established by IS, then tell everyone how much more evil our capitalist western society is.

  8. exi5tentialist says

    @abear (10) It is reductive to dismiss all western anti-war protest as “western privilege”. On that basis no military action by western powers would be capable of being protested against.

    There is also a simple argument that American military intervention since 2001 in the middle east has made a bad situation worse.

    Drones are an example of that.

    These points need to be addressed.

  9. Sean (I'm not an imposter) says

    OMG, another privileged, cis-gendered white male concern-trolling on behalf of brown women by demanding we bomb them into the stone age to “liberate” them. Privileged westerners think they have a right to bomb anyone they like for whatever bogus reasons the white Euro-peon dominated media and patriarchy invent. That’s worked out real good so far, hasn’t it?

    The next time I see a white male raping a POC I will be sure to machine-gun him. I might hit the victim but that happens in war and it’s a small price to pay to keep another white male RAPIST from raping!

    I didn’t oppose the fire-bombing of Dresden because those were mostly white male breeders like yourself who deserved to be incinerated with their women and children to keep them from producing more NAZIS for the FATHER-land.

    /end FTB parody

  10. Sean (I'm not an imposter) says

    “As bad as they were and still are though are you seriously saying that they are worse than the Nazis that carried out the Holocaust or Pol Pot’s Killing Fields?”

    The Khmer Rouge was greatly empowered by the anger and despair generated by the US bombing campaign in Cambodia, just as western aggression will create more recruits for Muslim militant organizations, real or CIA-created. The US later covertly supported the Khmer Rouge against the Vietnamese just as it covertly (and now overtly) supported the so-called “moderates” Syrian “rebels” out of whom ISIS was created.

  11. says

    Oh, lovely, exi5tentialist is here once again to tell a blogger what to blog about. There are a ton of issues to blog about, from social injustices to environmental issues to economic issues to church/state issues, but this one, THIS ONE is the one that this fool demands people talk about and if they don’t, they’re uncaring, apathetic pissants. I guess xe is going to wander around FtB and whine and moan at various bloggers and wag xir finger bc they don’t talk about what xe wants them to.
    I notice no link to xir nym to a blog where exi5tentialist talks about this very important issue.

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